The major accounting firms have been global organisations for 30 years or so but until recently have been very autonomous at the country level. The law firms were slow to take the plunge from local to global firms but the last 5-7 years has seen massive change with all manner of global and regional tie-ups of various forms. However, the biggest transformation is just beginning. 

We all know that technology is automating munch of the low value compliance processes but at the same time from Deloitte (with a global workforce of some 30,000 in Hyderabad) through to some of the law firms, the business model is shifting rapidly from local client service and support teams to both front and back offices relying on offshore centres of excellence to remain cost competitive and to drive quality and consistency.

The below article from The Lawyer in relation to Norton Rose Fulbright demonstrates the speed of the shifting business models - within weeks of announcing a global shared service centre in Manilla to centralise the back office with some 5% of their global workforce to be based there, they are now announcing major changes to their client delivery model with centres in Poland, South Africa and Australia.

Interesting times ahead for professional services firms. What will the career journeys of the current law and accounting undergraduates in countries like the UK, US and Canada look like?